McDaniel Going To Trial In Death Penalty Case

Oct. 4 Date Set In Mary Lou Wojcik Slaying

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Timothy McDaniel, right, confers with attorney John Brooks.
Timothy McDaniel, right, confers with attorney John Brooks.
- photo by John Wilson

An Oct. 4 trial has been set for the man charged with killing real estate agent Mary Lou Wojcik.

Timothy McDaniel earlier had been given more time to decide if he wanted to take an offer of life without parole or go to trial.

On Tuesday morning, Criminal Court Judge Steve Bevil set the trial date, indicating McDaniel rejected a state offer.

The case was moved to the Bevil court due to concern about statements made by Judge Doug Meyer. Judge Meyer, who has two other death penalty cases in his court, said on Feb. 10 at a hearing in the McDaniel case that it "costs the state a fortune for a death penalty case."

He said, "I sincerely hope the defendant accepts the offer for all of our sakes."

Judge Meyer told McDaniel if he does not take the offer, he is risking getting the death penalty.

Police say McDaniel confessed to killing Ms. Wojcik at her Mountain Shadows Home in East Brainerd.

Judge Bevil set Aug. 10 as a date to hear motions.

Attorneys John Brooks and Jerry Sloan represent McDaniel, who was the boyfriend of the daughter of Ms. Wojcik.

McDaniel is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated burglary.

County Det. Robert Starnes testified earlier that McDaniel gave a graphic description of the murder.

Officials said McDaniel was angry with Mrs. Wojcik because she did not want her daughter dating him and had sent her to Iowa to a boarding school.

The body of the victim was found in the master bathroom in the early morning hours Dec. 8, 2002.

McDaniel was apprehended about two weeks later in Catoosa County.

Detectives said McDaniel said he, Nicholas Webster and Joseph Gray went to the Mountain Shadows home to get some easy money.

McDaniel said he broke in with a pry-bar and went to the master bathroom, where he found the victim. Detectives recounted McDaniel’s description of the murder and said he then left the house and joined the two companions who were waiting outside.

It was earlier testified that McDaniel said they returned to the Gray house where Webster washed the knife used in the attack, and both Webster and Gray helped him burn the clothing he had been wearing. He then buried the murder weapon behind the house near a shed.

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